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Remembering our fathers PDF Print E-mail

04 September 2011: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus taught us to call God our Father, because it is the best relationship-based image that he could use to convey to us his own experience of the love between him and his Father (God).  And when we call God Father, we are entering into a very special and personal relationsihp with God, because the duty of a father is to care for, protect, and raise the children.

Children remember their father through the things that they have done together.  I could remember that as a very young boy my family grew up in a deprived environment.  The quality of education was very poor, religions were under strict control and people were living in misery and fear because of the oppression and control of the government.  My father, longing for a better future for the family, decided to flee from our country.

I remember that we were hiding out in a cave up in the moutain (which was close to the seaside) for more than a month waiting for our boat to arrive.  The hygienic condition of the cave was dismal.  We only had drinking water, and someone to bring us some rice and dried fish daily.  The cave was damp, stank, and infested with mosquitoes.  I was prey to the relentless attacks of the mosquitoes, to the piont that when we set out from the cave to descend the moutain, my legs were sore and infected and I could hardly walk.

We needed to make the arduous descent down the mountain to the boat that was waiting for us, and not being able to walk, my father carried me on his back down the moutain.  We made our journey down the moutain and crossed through numerous rice paddies in the descending darkness.  When we got to the coat, the boat was anchored a short distance out at sea.  I did not know how to swim, so once again my father put me on his shoulder and waded out into the water to reach the boat.

On this Father's Day, we remember how much our father had done for us, and pray for God's blessing upon all of them; to grace them with the wisdom, courage and love, to fulfill their sacred duty as a father.

Fr Trung Nguyen sj